1994

Re: Non-Oedipal *Hamlet*

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0811. Saturday, 15 October 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Stephen C. Schultz <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 13 Oct 94  15:34:01 EDT
        Subj:   SHK 5.0806  Qs: Non-Oedipal *Ham.*
 
(2)     From:   Michael Friedman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 13 Oct 1994 16:54:55 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0806  Qs: Non-Oedipal *Ham.**93
 
(3)     From:   Greg Grainger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 13 Oct 1994 23:03:17 -0400
        Subj:   Re: Non-Oedipal Hamlet
 
(4)     From:   John Drakakis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 14 Oct 94 13:17:00 BST
        Subj:   SHK 5.0806 Qs: Non-Oedipal *Ham.*
 
(5)     From:   Skip Shand <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 14 Oct 1994 14:23:08 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0806  Qs: Non-Oedipal *Ham.*
 
(6)     From:   W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 13 Oct 1994 23:05:02 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0806  Qs: Non-Oedipal *Ham.*
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephen C. Schultz <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 13 Oct 94  15:34:01 EDT
Subject: Qs: Non-Oedipal *Ham.*
Comment:        SHK 5.0806  Qs: Non-Oedipal *Ham.*
 
I have heard that the first staged Oedipal *Hamlet* was John Barrymore's in ca
1921. One of his biographers says that in his later--and sodden--years
Barrymore could not recite from the play any of the passages used to "prove"
the Oedipal interpretation because his first sexual experience had been with
his father's mistress. One learns the damnedest things doing theatre history!
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Friedman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 13 Oct 1994 16:54:55 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 5.0806  Qs: Non-Oedipal *Ham.*
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0806  Qs: Non-Oedipal *Ham.*
 
For Ronald Dwelle,
 
You might want to have a look at an article entitled "The Bed in HAMLET's
Closet Scene: Rowe 1709 and 1714" by Bernice Kliman which appeared in the
spring 1993 issue of *Shakespeare Newsletter*.  Illustrations from various
frontispieces support a very interesting argument.
 
                                                Michael Friedman
                                                This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Greg Grainger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 13 Oct 1994 23:03:17 -0400
Subject:        Re: Non-Oedipal Hamlet
 
There was a film produced in 1972 or thereabouts starring Nicol Williamson as
Hamlet and directed by Tony Richardson. It was an excellent interpretation,
IMHO, also remarkable for the casting of Marianne Faithful (yes, *that*
Marianne Faithful) as Ophelia. To the best of my recollection (now many years
old) the Oedipal aspect of Hamlet's relationship with Getrude is minimized, if
not discounted completely. They are played as very close, Hamlet the devoted
son, but not lovers. On the other hand, Gertrude's relationship with Claudius
is played as one almost entirely of the flesh; a pair of aging hedonists.
 
For those interested, this film is now available on video.
 
(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Drakakis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 14 Oct 94 13:17:00 BST
Subject: Qs: Non-Oedipal *Ham.*
Comment:        SHK 5.0806 Qs: Non-Oedipal *Ham.*
 
For Ronald Dwelle,
 
Irrespective of modern oedipal readings of the scene in question in HAMLET,
in Q(1605) Polonius says to the King "My Lord, hee's going to his mothers
closet," (sig.L1r).  Then Polonius Leaves and Claudius attempts to pray.  The
location of this scene is, presumably in Claudius's "closet"- a private room
set aside for prayer and meditation.  This is not, I suggest Claudius's
"bedroom", although Polonius leaves him with the words, "I'le call vpon you
ere you goe to bed."  When Hamlet, therefore, goes to his mother's "closet"
he is going to a comparable room in Elsinore, and the dramatic effect is
intensified by the CONTRAST between the two scenes: Claudius ends up divided
between the desire to repent, and hanging on to the fruits of regicide and
fratricide, while in Hamlet's case the attempt is being made to realign
language and action. If we inflect the scene in this way, bearing in mind the
historical distinction to be made between a bedroom and a "closet", then the
oedipal reading proves wholly inadequate.
 
Cheers,
John Drakakis
 
(5)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Skip Shand <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 14 Oct 1994 14:23:08 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 5.0806  Qs: Non-Oedipal *Ham.*
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0806  Qs: Non-Oedipal *Ham.*
 
Re the Oedipal Closet: Ronald Dwelle might look at Marvin Rosenberg's
Masks of Hamlet and Bernice Kliman's Hamlet: Film, Television, and Audio
Performance. As for the bedroom cliche and its textual/historical necessity,
Michael Cameron Andrews, in a piece called "His Mother's Closet: A Note on
Hamlet," MP (1982): 164-66, effectively demonstrates that a bedroom is anything
but inevitable in the scene, a closet being very usually a place of private
sanctuary, of meditative retirement, rather than of sleep (or other bedtime
pursuits). Andrews' use of OED (radical thought!) is very instructive.
 
                                                        Skip Shand
 
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From:           W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 13 Oct 1994 23:05:02 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 5.0806  Qs: Non-Oedipal *Ham.*
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0806  Qs: Non-Oedipal *Ham.*
 
Olivier's film of HAMLET seems to have begun the film tradition, and Ernest
Jones popularized the notion that Hamlet suffers from an unresolved Oedipal
conflict. Polonius tells the King, "My lord, he's going to his mother's closet"
(3.3.27 [Bevington, ed.]). A "closet" according to the OED is a room for
privacy or retirement as for devotion, study, or secluded speculation. The
closet is not the bedroom. Olivier, of course, focused on the bed, because he
wanted to emphasize Hamlet's psychological problems. It seems to me that he
also suggests that Hamlet and Horatio have something going on the side.
 
Pruriently yours, Bill Godshalk

Re: Hamlet's Insanity

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0810. Saturday, 15 October 1994.
 
From:           Nick Clary <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 12 Oct 1994 09:24:31 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Hamlet's Insanity Real or Feigned
 
While there are many studies published since then, a good place to start might
be the Appendix: "Is Hamlet's Insanity Real or Feigned?" in *A New Variorum
Edition of Shakespeare: Hamlet* edited by H.H. Furness (1877; rpt. New York:
Dover Publications, Inc. 1963), 2:195-235.  The editor's survey is from
MacKenzie (1780) to Dr. Onimus (1876).  An explosion in psychoanalytic
criticism, of course, occurred after Ernest Jones brought Freud to bear on the
subject of Hamlet's mental state and motivations in *Hamlet and Oedipus*
(1949).
 
As early as Charlottle Lennox's *Shakespear Illustrated* (1753), which was the
first assembly of "the Novels and Histories on which the plays of Shakespear
are founded," comparisons are made between Shakespeare's play and the Amleth
legend recorded in Saxo Grammaticus, and later in the adaptations by
Belleforest and an anonymous English prose translation.  Lennox, for one, found
it an error in judgment that the playwright should preserve the madness ruse
adopted by the Scandinavian hero, who knows as everyone else does that his
uncle has murdered to become king and and to husband Amleth's mother.  Lennox
writes: The Madness of Hamlet seems to be less essential to the Play than the
History....Shakespear has indeed followed the History in making Hamlet feign
himself mad....'tis certainly a Fault" (2:272-3).  She sees this feigned
madness in Shakespeare's Hamlet to be of no consequence to the play's design
and damaging to the hero's noble reputation.
 
You be the judge whether this early historical surveying is too much for your
high school students.  I would like to think that they may find it fascinating,
particularly if your own enthusiasm for its larger implications is evident to
them.
 
Nick Clary

Qs: Staunton's Edition; Fogler Institute

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0808. Wednesday, 12 October 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Charles Blair <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 11 Oct 1994 10:43:29 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   Howard Staunton's work
 
(2)     From:   Matthew Vail Smith <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 11 Oct 1994 12:23:06 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Folger, etc.
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Charles Blair <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 11 Oct 1994 10:43:29 -0500 (CDT)
Subject:        Howard Staunton's work
 
Howard Staunton edited an edition of Shakespeare shortly before the publication
of the Cambridge edition in the 1860's.  I have seen a handful of citations of
his work in footnotes, but I would be interested in an overall evaluation of
his contribution to Shakespeare scholarship.
 
Staunton is probably better known as a chess champion.  At some point he
partially retired from chess because of his literary work.  I know much more
about chess than Shakespeare, and am just trying to get a better impression of
Staunton's overall career.
 
Thanks in advance for any references.
 
Charles Blair (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Matthew Vail Smith <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 11 Oct 1994 12:23:06 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Folger, etc.
 
My fellow SHAKSPERians,
 
I'm moving to Washington, D.C., this weekend.  I was wondering if anyone out
there is in someway connected to the Folger Insititute and could help me get
aquainted with the stuff that goes on there.
 
I don't want to take up too much space, so I will leave the details to personal
replies.  Thanks.
                                        Matthew Vail Smith
                                        Hobart College
                                        This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Authorship

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0809. Saturday, 15 October 1994.
 
From:           Donald Foster <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesdayy, 11 Oct 1994 16:48:10 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 5.0801  Authorship
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0801  Authorship
 
The person you're looking for is Prof. Ward Elliott / Dept. of Government /
850 Columbia Ave. / Claremont McKenna College / Claremont, CA 91711-6420.
Elliott is a political scientist, not a literary scholar, but his "Shakespeare
Clinic" is not without value.  With funding from the Sloan Foundation, Elliott
for the past several years has been investigating whether it is not possible
to identify who "really" wrote Shakespeare.  (I believe that he started out in
the Oxfordian bin.)  Elliott and his student assistants designed a battery of
statistical tests, a few of which are (in my opinion) worthless but which, when
taken together, effectively prove (1) that the works generally ascribed to
Shakespeare are substantively the work of a single individual, and (2) that
none of the anti-Stratfordian candidates comes close to matching Shakespeare's
stylistic and linguistic peculiarities. Results are summarized in Elliott's
unpublished report, "Matching Shakespeare, 1994:  Computer Testing of
Elizabethan Texts for Common Authorship with Shakespeare."  This report is
unlikely to be published, but Elliott has been sending a copy to all
interested parties.

Re: Ohio Conf.; Boys; Character; Bilingual Sh; *Acres*

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0807. Wednesday, 12 October 1994.
 
(1)     From:   W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 10 Oct 1994 22:22:45 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0797  Qs: 1995 Ohio Shakespeare Conference
 
(2)     From:   J. Forse <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 10 Oct 1994 16:10:43 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   'Boy' Actors
 
(3)     From:   Terence Hawkes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 6 Oct 94 14:03 BST
        Subj:   RE: SHK 5.0770 Re: Character
 
(4)     From:   David Evett <R0870%This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 11 Oct 1994 16:29 ET
        Subj:   Bilingual Shakespeare
 
(5)     From:   Annalisa Castaldo <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 06 Oct 94 10:42:18 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0772  Re: Contemporary Lear
 
 
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From:           W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 10 Oct 1994 22:22:45 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 5.0797  Qs: 1995 Ohio Shakespeare Conference
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0797  Qs: 1995 Ohio Shakespeare Conference
 
I suppose I should try to answer Norman Myers's question since I posted the
announcement. Unfortunately, I am not on this year's planning committee, and I
must rely on my memory of last year's Holding Committee meeting.
 
I gather that Sam Crowl is looking for papers in a variety of different areas
(psychological studies, historical perspectives, performance studies, teaching
methods) with the idea that each of these areas has provided a real and/or
metaphoric stage for Shakespeare's plays.
 
Dave Evett, who's also on the Holding Committee, may have a better or clearerr
recollection of Sam's proposal.  In any case, hard copy should be in the mail
soon -- or so Sam tells me.
 
Yours, Bill Godshalk
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           J. Forse <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 10 Oct 1994 16:10:43 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        'Boy' Actors
 
I'm not sure why there is this passionate insistance that boys played the
principal female roles in Elizabethan adult acting companies.  In the first
place, calling someone 17 to 22 years of age a *boy* seems to be begging the
point.  Neither Elizabethan society nor law considered them children.  For the
most part 17 seems to have been the typical age at which one was
apprenticed--except for choirboys and school boys who do check in at the
younger ages for obvious reasons.  Most of the evidence about *boys* playing
female roles from pre-Restoration sources discusses talented boys playing
within the children's companies; that doesn't count; and the other sources like
Wright's Historia admit they are talking about a time from which they have
little direct knowledge when we use Restoration recollections to project
backwards to the stage of Shakespeare et al.  As for remarks in wills, etc.
about actors having apprentices, we can't be sure what the apprentices were
used for.  Many of the actors, such as John Heminges, belonged to guilds like
the grocers, and engaged in financial activities outside the theatre.  Henslowe
writes of lending his apprentice to the Admiral's Men, but does not specify for
what purpose he was used.  It is just as logical, I think, to view these young
men apprenticed to prominent people in the theatrical world potentially as
personal man-servants as novice actors.  And frankly, cycling a young boy in
and out of major roles every few years would be bad business sense; we can't
forget the fact that the giants of the Elizabethan stage were careful and
successful business men who made modest fortunes in the theatre business.
 
J. Forse
History: Bowling Green State University
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 6 Oct 94 14:03 BST
Subject: 5.0770 Re: Character
Comment:        RE: SHK 5.0770 Re: Character
 
Is Epstein suggesting that the bored middle-class American is suffering from
Agenbite of Inuit?
 
T. Hawkes
 
(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Evett <R0870%This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 11 Oct 1994 16:29 ET
Subject:        Bilingual Shakespeare
 
A propos David Schalkwyk's English/Afrikaans TN (and I agree that DS ought to
write it up, especially since I must confess that I never saw the two
households as culturally distinct in anything like that degree): a year or two
back word reached these parts from our great neighbor to the north of a
bilingual production of <Romeo and Juliet>, with English speaking actors doing
one family and French the other--apt enough for a legally bilingual country in
which there is still a great deal of cultural and emotional energy tied up in
the language question.  I am sure there are Canadian SHAKESPEReans who (and
should) tell us more.
 
Priez d'accepter mes sentiments the most distinguished.
 
                                                       David Evett
 
(5)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Annalisa Castaldo <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 06 Oct 94 10:42:18 EDT
Subject: 5.0772  Re: Contemporary Lear
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0772  Re: Contemporary Lear
 
To all who responded so promptly to my question about the modern Lear--thank
you! Am I the only one on this list who hasn't read this already? It certainly
seems so.
 
         Annalisa Castaldo
         Temple University

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